This holiday season save money and go green when you make your own gift bags out of newspaper. Better yet, while school is out, keep your children busy with this simple craft that has your wrapping in the bag.
To make your own small gift bag (5 inches tall), you’ll need a few items that are probably already around the house. Here’s the list:
- Two sheets of newspaper
- Tape (clear packaging tape is best) or glue
- A ruler
- String, twine or ribbon (optional)
Here’s how to put together your easy-to make gift bag:
Choose a sheet of newspaper that you’ll want for the outside of your bag. Lay another on top of it and then measure then cut out a 15.5-by-8.25 inches rectangle to use for your do-it-yourself gift bag.
For the bottom of your easy-to-make gift bag, make a fold 2 inches from the lower edge. Fold the top edge down 1.25 inches. Glue these flaps down, using extra glue between the sheets to make sure both sheets are fastened. You can also use tape for this step.
Then you’ll need to measure and make several more folds to form your homemade gift bag’s shape. Working from the right edge of your cut rectangle, measure and mark the following points: 0.5 inches, 3.5 inches, 8 inches and 11 inches. Now make a creased fold at each of these points to form your bag. Each side will be 3″ wide. The front and back are each 4.5 inches. The small fold you made at the right edge is the tab you will use to join your bag together, but don’t attach anything yet.
For reinforcement, you can run a length of packing tape around the top edge for extra strength. If you want even more reinforcement, you could use some heavier paper like card stock; cut a length and glue or tape that near the upper edge of your homemade gift bag. Since I always figure the bags are throwaways, I skip this step and use these easy gift bags for lightweight gifts.
Now join the edges so the main bag shape is formed. You can use tape or glue. The tape is quicker since it doesn’t take any time to dry, but will also show. For me, quick always wins. Besides, the tape seems a little stronger than gluing.
Now form the bottom by folding sides, top and bottom, as if you’re wrapping a gift. Tape or glue to fasten. I like to line the inside bag bottom with tape or card stock for strength.
For a handle, you can punch holes in the top area of the bag and string twine or ribbon through to form handles knotted on the inside.
For variations, try cutting colorful paper with fancy-edge scissors and gluing that around the top outside edge of your homemade gift bag before you put on the handles. You could also use old paper grocery bags; then add photographs, bows or whatever else you feel makes your handcrafted gift bag complete. You can make larger gift bags by altering the measurements by consistent percentages. It’s definitely Math for Grownups.
Looking for other unique and cheap ideas for holiday wrapping? You might enjoy reading Cheap Greetings, Cheap Wrap.